Mine Sweeper, Solitaire, Hearts

Andrew Brehm

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Years ago, Mine Sweeper, Solitaire and Hearts were Windows, literally. They were the first Windows programs everyone had (apart from those who used a rare DOS program that came with a runtime version of Windows) and everyone was happy about them.

Likewise OS/2 came with (pretty much the same) Solitaire game and a Mahjong game and, I believe, a chess game.

All other operating systems come with little games. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to define "operating system" as "a thing with a kernel, a shell and a solitaire game". It had been a long time since an OS came out without an included game to show that the OS could actually host a useful application (CP/M had no game, MS-DOS had BASIC games). Every UNIX and Linux distribution comes with a few simple games, some installed by default. My OpenVMS 8.4 for Alpha comes with a puzzle game...

Windows 10 is game-free. No Mine Sweeper, no Solitaire, no Hearts, no heart, no soul.

Yes, they are available for free from the Microsoft Store, apparently (with ads). But why are they not just included? To save disk space? Solitaire is 56 KB. To save attack surface? Why is lots of non-uninstallable Xbox-related software pre-installed (and why on Windows Server???)

What were MSFT thinking? What do you think?
 
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TechFreak1

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Years ago, Mine Sweeper, Solitaire and Hearts were Windows, literally. They were the first Windows programs everyone had (apart from those who used a rare DOS program that came with a runtime version of Windows) and everyone was happy about them.

Likewise OS/2 came with (pretty much the same) Solitaire game and a Mahjongg game and, I believe, a chess game.

All other operating systems come with little games. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to define "operating system" as "a thing with a kernel, a shell and a solitaire game. It had been a long time since an OS came out without an included game to show that the OS could actually host a useful application (CP/M had no game, MS-DOS had BASIC games). Every UNIX and Linux distribution comes with a few simple games, some installed by default. My OpenVMS 8.4 for Alpha comes with a puzzle game...

Windows 10 is game-free. No Mine Sweeper, no Solitaire, no Hearts, no heart, no soul.

Yes, they are available for free from the Microsoft Store, apparently (with ads). But why are they not just included? To save disk space? Solitaire is 56 KB. To save attack surface? Why is lots of non-uninstallable Xbox-related software pre-installed (and why on Windows Server???)

What were MSFT thinking? What do you think?

Well, I can think of some reasons that can explain the rationale behind the decision.

Mainly:


  1. Code minimisation for easier testing and development cycle.
  2. Ad revenue

Reasons which don't make sense:

  1. Easier update via the store
  2. People don't like bloatware which is why the signature edition of laptops exist

They could have easily included the solitare collection with the installs as they already include candy crush on clean installs of W10 so the bloatware arguement falls flat on it's face. The store update, there are plenty of apps and services that are in the o/s that can be updated via the store.


  1. Xbox Achievements as the solitare collection has xbox integration.

The xbox achievement is not so clear cut as it could have been api and integration choice. Who knows.

In any case, Microsoft and common sense don't often belong in the same sentence lol.
 

Andrew Brehm

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Well, I can think of some reasons that can explain the rationale behind the decision.

Mainly:


  1. Code minimisation for easier testing and development cycle.
  2. Ad revenue

Ad revenue probably, although I think it is a somwhat undignified revenue stream for a software company.

Code minimisation, I don't think so. The two or three very small games could be included unchanged as easy demonstrations of Windows' excellent backwards compatibility.

Reasons which don't make sense:

  1. Easier update via the store
  2. People don't like bloatware which is why the signature edition of laptops exist

They could have easily included the solitare collection with the installs as they already include candy crush on clean installs of W10 so the bloatware arguement falls flat on it's face. The store update, there are plenty of apps and services that are in the o/s that can be updated via the store.

And of course noone ever complained about sol.exe and winmine.exe being unnecessary bloatware. I think of all Windows components they are the most beloved and least complained about.

  1. Xbox Achievements as the solitare collection has xbox integration.

The xbox achievement is not so clear cut as it could have been api and integration choice. Who knows.

In any case, Microsoft and common sense don't often belong in the same sentence lol.


The Xbox stuff seems like a late marketing decision made long after management was in anti-bloatware mode. They removed a few KB and then added lots of MB just for the heck of it.
 

TechFreak1

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Ad revenue probably, although I think it is a somwhat undignified revenue stream for a software company.

Code minimisation, I don't think so. The two or three very small games could be included unchanged as easy demonstrations of Windows' excellent backwards compatibility.



And of course noone ever complained about sol.exe and winmine.exe being unnecessary bloatware. I think of all Windows components they are the most beloved and least complained about.




The Xbox stuff seems like a late marketing decision made long after management was in anti-bloatware mode. They removed a few KB and then added lots of MB just for the heck of it.

The beauty of Windows is that you can still run these games and some people prefer the retro "look" lol.
 

RTGent

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History, nostalgia... It's been an app world this century. It's always been a matter of bundling, not being part of an OS. Today's nitwit reviewers and many users complain about "bloatware". I'm not familiar with "all other OSs" like you are, but Windows 7 didn't come with games either -at least not Professional which I've always run. On the other hand, my W10 Surface 3 was/is bundled with Microsoft Solitaire Collection, among other useful apps that prior versions lacked. Didn't have to go to no store for these :wink:
 

Andrew Brehm

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History, nostalgia... It's been an app world this century. It's always been a matter of bundling, not being part of an OS. Today's nitwit reviewers and many users complain about "bloatware". I'm not familiar with "all other OSs" like you are, but Windows 7 didn't come with games either -at least not Professional which I've always run. On the other hand, my W10 Surface 3 was/is bundled with Microsoft Solitaire Collection, among other useful apps that prior versions lacked. Didn't have to go to no store for these :wink:

Windows 7 Pro came with Chess Titans, FreeCell, Hearts, Mahjong Titans, Minesweeper, Solitaire and Spider Solitaire.

Personally, I think that was overkill. But I am old-fashined enough to believe that an operating system should have a kernel, a shell, and a solitaire game.
 

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